It's been a weird four days. We started off, terrified of everything, thinking someone would murder us if we didn't speak French, and then we slipped into understanding the flow of the streets, appreciating the once-scary neighborhood we'd taken up a hotel in, and suddenly I find myself a little sad we're leaving tomorrow.
I will not miss the queues at some of the biggest over-hyped monuments this side of the meridian. I will definitely not miss the obnoxious masses of people at those sites. I won't miss the "One Euro! One Euro!" peddlers, because there are only so many ways you can tell someone you don't want a cartoon drawing of yourself nor do you want five plastic Eiffel Towers for the price of one.
I will miss the cute cinema we went to tonight. I will miss this small hotel room that we first hated (four days?!) and now have grown to call a temporary home. We opened up the windows and suddenly, our small closet turns into a hammock in the canopy of some of the coolest architecture I've seen.
I now know what it feels like to be an outsider. But I also know that the two of us can step off a train, be terrified out of our wits, and in less than a week, conduct ourselves through a three-course meal at a fancy restaurant. We did it.
Now about the writing portion: I got about two paragraphs written during my time here in Paris. We were running around all over the damn place, but seeing Hugo's Notre Dame and James Joyce's Shakespeare and Company, I feel as if my writing education continued nonetheless. Walking around the streets where F. Scott and Zelda strolled, seeing how much there was for Hugo to save in an old condemned church ... it makes things mean a little more, make a little more sense.
I think this is where Paris's heart really lies. I don't think it's in the Eiffel Tower. I don't think it's in Versailles queues or weird river boat cruises. I think it's in the quiet spots on a sidewalk after the sun goes down. It's in the way two young idiots have to clasp each other's hands and say to the other, "We're in this together." That's what Paris will be for me.
Now back to London.